The Girls Who Traumatized Me Volume 3 Chapter 4

Chapter Four: “Vermillion Summer’s Wish
 

 
I wake up before my alarm goes off to the morning tune of chuntunchuntun.
 
I jump up. Still groggy from waking up, I stare blankly at the wall.
 
On the cream-colored wall, there is a life-size poster of Mom and Sister (the polka-dot version for the summer season).
 
Seeing them in swimsuits gives a sense of summer breath, but what posters they are. If you put the special polka dot sheet over them, they somehow became naked. An unbelievable waste of effort.
 
Hmm, ah? A soft feeling reaches my hand. Seductive to the touch. It’s going to be my undoing. Hmm hmm.
 
Still half asleep, unable to resist the allure of the low rebound, I grope. Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm
 
“–Mm… not there… No…”
 
“Who goes there?”
 
I hurriedly turned around to find Mom sleeping soundly beside me, looking quite comfortable in her negligee.
 
My sleepiness was completely gone. This is the eleventh time in ten days. I don’t have any regrets.
 
You said you’d sleep in your own room last night, right? But that is normal as always.
 
I suspect that Mom might really be sick.
 
The suspicion of breast cancer has been cleared up, but Mom seems to go to the bathroom at night and then always mistakes my room for hers when she comes back. It could be sleepwalking.
 
I’m Kokonoe Yukito, a man who never doubts his family. I take everything they say at face value.
 
When I worry and ask if she’s okay, she always brushes it off. I wonder if it’s really that serious…
 
It’s a weekday. I have to go to school. If I stay like this, I’ll fall asleep again with Mom’s low-rebound pillow. I crawl out of bed so as not to wake her.
 
Oh, right, I made an SNS account, but I haven’t posted anything, I remember. Unlike Goddess Senpai, I don’t have much passion for seeking approval and showing off, but when I try to think of what to post, I can’t come up with anything.
 
Should I just post everyday stuff? But no one would find me interesting to babble about, right?
 
Ah, I’ve got it! A pain, but this will do. tap tap tap [Mom’s sleeping next to me, you know]
 
“Hm?”
 
A worrying DM catches my eye. I thought it might be a prank, but it’s an official account, so no.
 
The shocking content leaves me unsure what to do. My uncooperative mind can’t make up its mind. I’ll consult someone later.
 
In the meantime, let’s make some breakfast.
 


 
Morning break on a weekday. For some reason I got caught by two of Yuuri-san’s friends.
 
By the way, my morning post had been getting a lot of buzz and blew up enormously, but that’s irrelevant, so I’ll ignore it.
 
“Somehow lately, don’t you think Yuuri’s been feeling down, like she’s spaced out?”
 
“Right? She’s distracted in class and even during breaks. Lil brother, don’t you know why?”
 
I was asked about a surprising consultation in the deserted hallway. Looks like my sister has been acting strangely.
 
I have no idea what the cause could be, but I had felt the same discomfort, so I can’t overlook it.
 
“She’s like that at school too, huh? I was worried about that too. She’s been weird at home too.”
 
“Since it’s Yuuri, we thought you must be the cause, but…”
 
“Strange? How is Yuuri at home?”
 
The upperclassmen were genuinely worried about my sister, without their usual mockery.
 
Trying to find the cause, I dug through my memories.
 
“Lately she doesn’t barge into my room anymore, and she’s stopped taking measurements and undressing randomly, and she doesn’t accidentally walk into my bath either, but she doesn’t seem angry or in a bad mood, um… I wonder why. She seems very normal… “
 
“…Isn’t that normal?”
 
“There’s no way Yuuri would do ordinary Onee-chan-like things!”
 
“Guh! Can’t argue with that!”
 
The upperclassmen seem frustrated about something, but objectively our relationship had normalized to an ordinary sibling-like distance.
 
But there’s an indescribable unease. I’m also concerned that my sister has been shutting herself up in her room lately.
 
Like today, we went to school separately and haven’t seen each other’s faces since this morning.
 
This hasn’t happened before. Checking up on me is part of my sister’s daily routine.
 
Maybe I’ve done something to upset her and she’s avoiding me, but when we talk she treats me even nicer than before, so I don’t understand what’s bothering her. Mom also said that my sister is suffering. My sister is different from me. She should be happy. She can’t be unhappy.
 
“If you don’t understand either, what can I do?
 
“It probably has something to do with you, so pay attention to her.
 
Somehow I remembered the past. When I was little, I used to follow my sister.
 
After she disliked me, I never tried to know her until now. I never got close to her.
 
But now…
 
“It will be okay. I’ll definitely think of something. Yuuri-san is… precious family.”
 

 
“Putting Yuuri aside for now… Can I ask you something too?”
 
Suddenly, Ginko Ichijo senpai, who had been acting quite differently until a moment ago, started to fidget and hesitantly opened her mouth.
 
When I asked for their names, they introduced themselves as Onee-chan Yorura and Ginko Ichijo.
 
“This is a love counseling session. I… like Kumazaki from Class D.”
 
“Why do upperclassmen, not just you, come to me for love advice?”
 
“Eh, because little brother. You’re the god of love fulfillment, right? Even [The Hero] happened because of you.”
 
“Asking you is a must in this school.”
 
“No wonder I’m always busy with consultations.”
 
Eventually, I attained divinity. [The Hero] refers to the passionate senior.
 
The whole process of me expelling the passionate upperclassman from the basketball club was uploaded as a video by someone. His purity in successfully making a public confession after defeating me dressed as a bunny, seen by the masses, has led him to be called [The Hero] and gained fame among high school students nationwide, it seems.
 
We lost in the fourth round, but I’m called the winner in love. Annoying!
 
“And it’s not just [The Hero], Suo-senpai, and the first-year [Minstrel] couplr. It was you, right? You’re famous as the Cupid of Love in this school, right?”
 
“When did this world turn into a fantasy?”
 
There are too many goddesses, angels, holy mothers, and so on in this world. At this rate, a saint might appear as well.
 
Because of such circumstances, I strangely get a lot of love consultations brought to me.
 
I, who keep renewing my record of never having had a girlfriend, obviously can’t give love advice, but
 
“Congratulations.”
 
“Huh?”
 
Getting a lot of love advice inevitably means learning about complex human relationships. Complex, bizarre human relationship charts had accumulated before me.
 
“I was also consulted by Kumazaki-senpai about love.”
 
“Liar!? By Kumazaki!? I heard that he has no interest in love or anything like that…”
 
“Hey little brother. By the way, could it be that…”
 
“Ginko-senpai, congratulations.”
 
“You did it!”
 
“Yeah, yeah! So that’s why he… I can’t believe it.”
 
Seira-senpai claps her hands in joy. Since Ginko-senpai is a friend of my sister, Kumazaki-senpai came to discuss something, but it was resolved quite easily.
 
Now my reputation will rise again. Gahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
 
“But from now on, it’s up to you senpai.”
 
“Of course! Thank you, little brother! Unbelievable… I still can’t believe it. Let me repay you somehow. I even let you have Yuuri. Oh, I know, you can touch me just a little is fine, right? Or even sniff Onee-chan here.”
 
“Oy, don’t sacrifice me!”
 
“Stop it. Is that okay, Senpai? If you really like someone, you should refrain from doing things that might cause misunderstandings. Going with the opposite sex to buy surprise gifts, trying to test each other’s feelings, faking your own feelings, and saying things you don’t mean – this world is full of flags that often lead to bad ends like this. So appreciate yourself and the other person.”
 
I am seriously preaching to the upperclassmen. Not a lecture, but an edification. The light leaves Ginko-senpai’s eyes.
 
“I am the one who is wrong. O great master, I sincerely apologize.”
 
“Happiness is always right in front of you. Be true to yourself. And the way will open.”
 
“Ginko, it’s as if you’re being brainwashed, Ginko!”
 
“No, Master would never do that.”
 
“And please get along well with Yuuri-san from now on. Let’s take that as a thank you.”
 
“Yes, Master. I’ll always be Yuuri’s friend.”
 
“They’re trying to wrap it up, but it’s definitely dangerous! She doesn’t offer donations. So the God of Love Fulfillment is like that? It’s different from what I imagined, don’t brainwash Ginko!”
 
“I’m not a hero.”
 
“You used brainwashing on Himura-senpai!? That’s not romantic at all!”
 
I finished the love counseling seamlessly, and the morning break was over.
 


 
“Is Yuuri joining the forest camp by the way?”
 
“I’m not a boys, so I’m not going. I don’t like outdoor stuff.”
 
“Yuuri’s pretty indoorsy, huh?”
 
“Anyway, what’s wrong with her?”
 
“She was brainwashed or something…”
 
“Brainwashed?”
 

 
“Onee-chan, let’s have lunch together!”
 
I threw open the classroom door with a bang. Stunned looks gathered around me. sweat drops
 
Upperclassmen classroom!? As if I cared!
 
Now that I think about it, I know almost nothing about Yuuri-san. If you want to hit the general, shoot the horse first.
 
If she’s got a problem, if I’m going to help with that, the most important thing is to get to know Yuuri-san first.
 
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you’re lost, jump into her lap.
 
And so I had come to my sister’s classroom to eat lunch together during the break.
 
My sister is sitting in a row with the two who came for counseling this morning.
 
“……………………………………………………Huh?”
 
Yuuri-san is stunned. Her usual temper is gone.
 
The chopsticks she was holding threatened to slip out, so I rushed in to catch them.
 
“Lil Bro is already doing something? A capable man works fast, huh?”
 
“Oh great master! Over here, over here!”
 
Ginko-senpai prepared a seat and waved me over.
 
“Wh-wh-wh-why are you h-h-here?”
 
“I thought we could have lunch together. Here, mineral water.”
 
“Tha–“
 
I hand her the PET bottle I bought, and she casually opens the cap and pours it over her head.
 
At first glance she seems normal, but the sudden eccentric action clearly shows that she’s shaken.
 
“Onee-chan, water is a drink, right?”
 
“Obviously. Delicious.”
 
“You haven’t taken a sip and you’re dripping wet, but…”
 
“So… this is a dream. A dream right. Because it doesn’t hurt.”
 
My sister claws at her own cheek. Not satisfied with the damage, she begins to punch her face violently.
 
“Yuuri, calm down! Ginko, stop her!”
 
“Master will be sad. Yuuri, wake up. This is reality.”
 
“It doesn’t… hurt. It stings, but it doesn’t hurt. There’s no way Yukito would invite me. This is a dream? Maybe a parallel world? The future where I didn’t make mistake? Or maybe the metaverse? Or multiverse, omegaverse, backscreen triple whammy…”
 
My sister mumbles inexplicable incantations. Her eyes are unfocused. These verses are probably different.
 
“Onee-chan, can I get in your bosom?”
 
“Go ahead.”
 
For some reason I sat on my sister’s lap. Get in your bosom means a marsupial like a kangaroo, right? But I’m happy, so I’ll just sit here quietly.
 
“To think that Yuuri was such an unreliable klutz…”
 
Seira-senpai is annoyed. I completely agree, but my mission is to listen to my sister’s worries. It pains me to see my Onee-chan down.
 
“By the way, Onee-chan, when are you going to take me shopping? I’ve been waiting, you know.”
 
“Ginko, Seira. We’ll leave early.”
 
“I’ll leave the rest to you.”
 
My sister grabs her bag and gets up. I’m pulled up as well, because I was sitting on her lap.
 
“You… were looking forward to this? What I promised before, right. I’m sorry. I didn’t forget. Shall we go then?”
 
“Wait, Yuuri. How about after school?”
 
“Do you have a complaint?”
 
It took five minutes for my rough sister to calm down.
 

 
“I’ve calmed down a bit now. What is it, Yukito, all of a sudden?”
 
My sister, who has calmed down enough for words to get through, asks anxiously.
 
“You didn’t come to my classroom lately, so I got lonely. We didn’t see each other this morning either.”
 
“Okay. I’ll come every break from now on.”
 
“She hasn’t calmed down at all.”
 
The dutiful Seira-senpai. We’re eating our lunch boxes together, but before I came to my sister’s classroom, as a result of subtly informing Kumazaki-senpai that her feelings for Ginko-senpai would be reciprocated, Ginko-senpai was suddenly invited to lunch by Kumazaki-senpai and rushed off. I feel that my disciples’ trust in me has increased even more.
 
“Oh, that’s right, Onee-chan likes the outdoors? Let’s go camping together for a day.”
 
“I love that. It doesn’t have to be a day trip.”
 
“But we’re minors, so that might be difficult, right?”
 
“Too bad.”
 
“Lil bro. Don’t trust that girl! She’s a terrible liar, you know?”
 
“Got a complaint!?”
 
“And foul-mouthed.”
 
I learned about real BBQ from the American dad, but it might be good to brush up on my camping skills in preparation for summer vacation. You never know when a dungeon might pop up on this earth.
 
“Whatever you want to do, I’ll do it for you. –Tell me while there’s still time.”
 
That’s right, those eyes. My sister’s sad eyes. The true feelings behind her words.
 
I’m here now because I want to know them. I’ll definitely save you.
 
If you say I’m the cause, if you say I’m the reason, even in this world full of enemies, the one who always stayed by my side, the precious family who was closest to me, I definitely won’t let someone like that be unhappy.
 
“What do I want to do? Get along better with Onee-chan, I guess.”
 
This was my honest feeling without any lies or deception.
 


 
“Oh, is that your Onee-chan’s portrait?”
 
“Yes. What do you think? Does it look like Yuuri-san?”
 
“I think it’s wonderful, but why your Onee-chan?”
 
After school, I temporarily joined the art club. It was a temporary unofficial membership period.
 
The summer tournament was also over, and with the seniors have retired, the basketball club had come to an end.
 
For the time being, the team are working hard for the Winter Cup, but it’s the time when they’re just doing the daily training menu as self-practice. Shiori, who has nothing to do, has been sent to the girls’ basketball club.
 
In the first place, managers aren’t really necessary for the still small number of members of the boys’ basketball club. Shiori is really needed for the sports clubs. She was worried, but when I told her that I’d be joining the art club for a while, she understood. If possible, I want Shiori to work hard in a club where she can maximize her skills.
 
“I tormented my Onee-chan terribly.
 
Painting is lonely. But strangely enough, it doesn’t bother me. I didn’t think much about it, but methodical work might suit me.
 
Sanjoji sensei called to me, apparently concerned about my condition. I had concentrated so much that it was almost time to go home. Had the other members already left? The art room was quiet.
 
I just looked innocently at the canvas.
 
I had chosen my sister as the subject of the painting I was going to submit to the art competition, but this painting is nothing more than my imagination. I was worried whether it would look like my sister or not, but I’m relieved by Sanjoji sensei’s words. When asked why, I’m at a loss for words. I’ll try to ask Sanjoji sensei about it.
 
This is a change. The me before would never have tried to talk to others and would have tried to solve it alone. But now I have learned. The benevolence directed my way.
 
There are also many who aren’t like that, who are enemies, but still, there are many allies on my side. They help me when I’m in trouble. Relying on others isn’t wrong.
 
Even Hinagi grew. She learned to depend on others. I talked about what happened between my sister and me in the past. I didn’t expect an answer. Maybe I just wanted someone to listen to me.
 
“You… sob… why… sniffle… can you be so nice?”
 
Sanjoji sensei cried. I quickly handed her a handkerchief.
 
“Thank you. I’ve had weak tear ducts since I was little, it’s embarrassing, but I start crying easily at movies and such, even though I’m an adult…. I tried to hold it in, but I couldn’t. I’ll wash this and return it later.”
 
“Please don’t worry about it. I’ll just wash it with the laundry.”
 
I handed it to him spontaneously, but Sanjoji sensei must have handkerchiefs too.
 
“I guess I’ve always been a fetter to my sister.”
 
Not only for my sister’s life. Only now do I realize that I’ve even distorted her personality.
 
That just shows how much I turned a blind eye to my sister’s suffering. I never tried to know.
 
“That is not true! Your sister must have been saved by your kindness as well!”
 
“Because the people around me taught me kindness, I want to give it back. It’s mutually beneficial.”
 
It’s not just an act. One-sidedness is not good. Selfless devotion, at some point you’ll just get tired of it.
 
“Ah, of course, you too, Teacher. Thank you for always being kind.
 
“I don’t have the qualifications to be thanked by you…. Why, why now? Even though you had that kindness back then, and yet I…!”
 
Sanjo covered her face with both hands and cried again. The teacher might have some thoughts about this as well. She’s one of the few teachers that I respect. There must be many students who were saved by Sanjoji sensei.
 
“I am glad that you were the teacher.
 
“Please don’t make me cry anymore.”
 
“I’m sorry.”
 
I was wrongly accused. This is disturbing… Oh, that reminds me, I carelessly forgot.
 
“By the way, Teacher, about that matter…”
 
“Please don’t make me cry anymore!”
 
It was a distraction. I have no choice but to chat idly and wait patiently for him to stop crying.
 
“…Ahem. I’m sorry for showing such a pathetic side.”
 
“To think that Teacher had a history of seeking pen pals in a correspondence magazine…”
 
Even today, when it’s easy to have interactive exchanges through phone calls and chats, it seems that in the past you had to arrange a meeting place in advance or risk not being able to meet when you went out to play.
 
Not to mention email, where the fastest you’d get a response was at least three days. The Showa Heisei generation is awesome!
 
“Please keep it a secret, this is strictly confidential… And as for your painting, you might want to reconsider submitting it to the art contest.”
 
“Is that so?”
 
“The value of this painting will only be understood by you and your sister. Others won’t be able to judge it fairly. Even I, who heard your story, can’t understand it. It’s a truly beautiful painting that is only meant for an individual, not the masses…. That’s your ideal, isn’t it? You probably want to keep it a secret from your sister, right? Then how about taking it home when it’s finished and displaying it in your house?”
 
“I see. I’ll do that.”
 
“I hope she’s pleased.”
 
“Yes.”
 
The canvas, for which I’ve only done the underpainting, is still pure white. It’ll take some time to complete it with color.
 
Until then, I must somehow resolve my sister’s concerns. I clench my fist to renew my resolve.
 
“And don’t keep teasing me about this. I already know. Even though the students say I’m an old-fashioned aunt who’s falling behind the times behind my back. It’s not like I’m falling behind on purpose!”
 
“Teacher is really sincere.”
 
Who the hell says such terrible things! But don’t worry, teacher. I’m sincere!
 
As we were getting ready to leave, we discussed this matter.
 


 
“It was just last week. It was a scorching hot night, and I suddenly woke up feeling suffocated. My whole body was paralyzed and I couldn’t move a muscle. I couldn’t even twitch. I heard an inexplicable sound, a soft whooshing sound, right next to my ear. Then I thought I heard the sound of someone walking from the other side of the door, and it stopped right outside my room… Click.”
 
“Gulp. What happened next, Kokonoe-chan?”
 
Mineta leans forward. When it comes to summer, ghost stories are a must.
 
To get a moment of coolness in the sweltering summer, we decided to tell ghost stories during recess, but for some reason, Hinagi-chan sighs loudly.
 
Creating a creepy atmosphere, the storytelling continues with ghost story master Kokonoe Yukito.
 
“Ki-it, the door creaked open and I saw a long-haired woman slowly enter the room.”
 
“Mineta-san, don’t take it seriously. Since it’s Yukito, he’s probably just paralyzed from sleeping next to his mother and can’t move. The one who entered the room was probably Yuuri-san, right? It’s pretty obvious.”
 
“Don’t spoil the ending. It’s against the rules.”
 
“In a way, that story was scarier than a ghost story.”
 
Even the spotlight on my face seems confused.
 
“In that case, what about this story? It’s an episode from when I went to Kyoto with Sekka-san. While I was exploring the city of Kyoto away from Sekka-san, I saw a girl walking alone who looked like a Japanese doll. I wanted to pass by without thinking, but it seemed like the girl was in trouble. When I talked to her, she said she was lost. So I reluctantly decided to help her find her guardian.”
 
“Haa…”
 
W-what’s with that suspicious look, Hinagi-chan?
 
“And then a woman came running from the other side and suddenly screamed that I was a kidnapper, and I was taken to the police…”
 
“Your scary factor is different from ours! Where’s the ghost story?”
 
It was a frightening experience I had on my first visit to Kyoto…
 
“We were wrong to expect this from Yukito. I mean, this guy shouldn’t be afraid of ghost stories, right?”
 
It was an uncomfortable confidence. Ghosts and scary things… probably.
 
“Anyway, it’s really hot every day, isn’t it?”
 
Mineta fans himself with her hand. The weather forecast is all red. The heat wave continues day after day.
 
Exhaustion piles up in the relentless scorching heat. It’s hard to find motivation in this weather.
 
But I have a secret plan against the heat.
 
When we go shopping with my sister, I plan to introduce something I’ve been interested in for a long time. The day is not far off when this idea will revolutionize the school.
 
Call me the inventor, Kokonoe Yukito. I’m looking forward to it. Fuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhu!
 


 
“Wasn’t that the one with the fan? Is it okay to put something like that on your uniform?”
 
“I thought I’d try it first to see if it really feels cool.”
 
“Won’t it be noisy?”
 
“It should still be better than the heat, right? By the way, what did you go shopping for today?”
 
Suffering from the heat, I noticed the clothes worn by construction workers and the like.
 
It should also apply to school uniforms. It’s called [Air-Conditioned Uniforms]. For summer use only, the frequency of use in a year wouldn’t even reach fifty times. Lithium-ion batteries can be recharged hundreds of times, they say. According to my calculations, they should last for three years, even considering the battery life. Using it together with AC also leads to electricity savings.
 
You could call it a wonderful, win-win idea. I’ll sell it to the principal.
 
On the way to the city center, the population density changes drastically. I’ll put the air-conditioned uniforms on hold for now. I gladly accepted my sister’s invitation to go shopping, but I wish she’d at least let me carry the bags. I’ve also been asked by my mom and my sister’s friend, so I’ll do my best to solve my sister’s worries by taking full advantage of this opportunity.
 
Okay, time to do my best! Yeah, yeah!
 
“I told you, underwear.”
 
“Oh, right, I remembered I have to press BAD on those who distribute annoying videos, so I’m going home.”
 
“That can wait. Come on, let’s go.”
 
Noooooo! Let me go, let me gooooo!
 

 
“Here’s the underwear that fits this woman.”
 
“You’re not even trying to enjoy this.”
 
I put my wallet down heavily on the counter, trying to leave it all to the clerk’s sister, but inevitably failing. This is uncharted territory, a lingerie store. It’s forbidden territory for men. Even groups of explorers are turned away.
 
There’s no way I can stay in a place like this. I will take my leave! (Death Flag)
 
“Full cup, long line… 1/2… Oh, there are so many kinds, huh?”
 
“Pick the one you like.”
 
The colors are abundant, dazzlingly colorful, but the types are also eye-opening. A culture that is completely different from men’s underwear, which I only look at for size, spreads out in front of me.
 
“Even if you tell me that… Without knowing the other person’s preferences, I wouldn’t know what to choose, just like those insensitive guys who come in and ask the staff to recommend pieces, but then complain that the recommended pieces don’t fit them.
 
There are people like that, aren’t there? Then they criticize the pieces you picked, saying they don’t suit them, even though they couldn’t pick them themselves. Geez, the worst. If that’s the case, find it out for yourself!
 
“You want to know so much about me?”
 
“I can’t choose with so many unknowns.”
 
If I just pick at random and the underwear doesn’t fit her body, I won’t be able to face her.
 
“I see. Then let’s go to the fitting room. I’ll tell you everything about the underwear I’m wearing now, down to the last detail.”
 
“I don’t need to know that…”
 
“The animal and monster encyclopedias you read have the details listed, right? So you should know my details as well. Write them down in the Yuuri Encyclopedia.”
 
I can kill an Indian elephant in ten seconds. Little Bro Special Attack ◎ Super effective against Little Bro, deals 4x damage.
 
“Where did you get that strength with those skinny arms? Miss, please help me, I’m–“
 
“Take your time~”
 
The store clerk waves me away with a businesslike smile, and I’m dragged into the fitting room without any resistance.
 
Five minutes later, the Yuuri Encyclopedia completion rate is over eighty percent.
 
“Now that you’re up to speed, let’s get started.”
 
“I think the safest thing is to just get your current underwear in a different size?”
 
That’s probably the least risky choice to start with. It’s up to Yuuri-san if he wants to try other types after that.
 
“What, you want that sexy underwear? Well, if you insist.”
 
“Something’s weird. Is she having a conversation with an imaginary me?”
 
Confused when she suddenly stops making sense, I watch helplessly as Yuuri-san’s incomparable skill unfolds.
 
“Huh? A black babydoll? The lace is pretty, but this is just string. Wait, this is too… I mean, you can totally see the butt, and it barely covers the front… Okay, okay, I get it. Don’t make that disappointed face. It’s embarrassing, but I’ll wear it right for you. Man, you’re impossible. Look forward to tonight.”
 
“Um, hey, Yuuri-san…?”
 
“A front hook makes you happy? That’s right, it makes you happy. Then let’s get that too.”
 
“We’re having a full conversation without me saying anything!?”
 
A new midsummer horror story was born. Seriously scary.
 
We look at underwear together. Whether different sizes, extreme garter lingerie, body stockings of unclear use, long lines, bustiers, night bras – my sister and imaginary me pick out one after the other. This feeling of alienation, could I be the impostor?
 
But my sister looks happy. Maybe shopping is a stress reliever for her. I can’t help it, I’ll leave it to my imaginary self to do his best.
 
“Phew… I bought a lot, huh. Huh, you’re looking forward to it too? Hehe, I’ll satisfy you.”
 
“Might be better to exorcise this one.”
 
I’m starting to feel uncomfortable that the imaginary me might start saying outrageous things.
 
“What do you mean, it’s not like I’m trying to seduce… Oh, come on! Fine, I admit it. I was trying to seduce you!”
 
“Wryyyyyyyy begone evil spirit begone!”
 
And so I continued to desperately perform exorcisms in the lingerie store.
 

 
“I wonder why they don’t approach me?”
 
“Maybe because your expression is scary and the atmosphere is prickly?”
 
“You’re not one to talk with that poker face.”
 
My sister and I had come to a cat cafe. For quick popularity, nothing beats fluffing.
 
It’s also very popular on video sites, and Beastmen and Fennec Foxes are essential for reincarnation in another world.
 
I was hoping the cats’ healing properties would soothe my sister, but for some reason, only I get swarmed by cats. Feeling lonely, I put one on my sister’s lap.
 
“Meow (Human, please… it’s work…)”
 
“Meow (Play with me, human! Take a position!)”
 
“Meoooow (Let me groom you)”
 
Thanks to the cat sitting on my head, my head is warm. Can you move?
 
“They’re really cute to look at.”
 
My sister strokes the cat with a friendly look. Maximum fluffing power.
 
“Do you want to raise one?”
 
“Pampering you is enough.”
 
“I was the Kokonoe family’s pet all along…?”
 
Shocking revelation, but considering my hierarchy in our house, it might make sense. Unfortunately, I have no complaints about my current treatment. I have been trained too well.
 
It’s normal as a pet, but suddenly questionable dark depths as a human pet. Black Company Level.
 
“Oh, that’s right, is something bothering you, Onee-chan?”
 
This isn’t the time to fall into darkness. The main problem is over here.
 
“Why the sudden change?”
 
“You seemed worried.”
 
My sister’s eyes wander through the empty space. She tries to say something, but immediately swallows it back.
 
Is she hesitating? Or does she not want to show weakness to her little brother?
 
“I’m sorry for worrying you. But I’m fine.”
 
“-Really?”
 

I look into her eyes as if trying to read her true feelings. Having kept my distance from my sister until now, I can’t begin to imagine the complicated feelings in her heart. I feel like I’m being sucked into those obsidian eyes.
 
“Yukito doesn’t have to worry about anything. Your wish is my w… anyway.”
 
“My wish? That’s just to cheer Yuuri-san up, but…”
 
“That’s right, you’re a kind child. …Even to someone like me.”
 
A slim hand touches my cheek. Its expression is fleeting, as if it could vanish at any moment.
 
Gently, I take the hand. Thanks to the cat, my hand is warm.
 
“I’m looking forward to summer vacation. Let’s play a lot together.”
 
“Yukito, you…”
 
“Oh, there was a local food fair earlier, so I got this. Let’s eat it together later.”
 
I don’t want to pressure my confused sister. I don’t know if she’ll tell me now, but I don’t know about later. First of all, it’s important that I get along better with my sister.
 
Rushing will mess things up. There’s no need to rush. There’s time. Slow is good.
 
To change the subject, I take a box out of my bag. I was drawn to it and bought it on impulse.
 
“Millet dumplings?”
 
“When you think of Okayama Prefecture, you think of Momotaro. And when you think of Momotaro, you think of millet dumplings.”
 
Speaking of millet dumplings, they’re the magic item in the folk tale where Momotaro, on his way to subjugate demons, gives them to the monkey, pheasant, and dog, making them his companions.
 
Honestly, subjugating demons with just one millet dumpling is too exploitative, but I guess there wasn’t any Labor Standards Act back then.
 
When they sell local sweets at product fairs, you just have to buy them, right?
 
“Millet dumplings mean… Do you want me to be your companion so much?”
 
“Huh?”
 
Did I just say something irresponsible?
 
“So I’m the pet. …Fine, even so.”
 
“Hey, what are you talking about?”
 
“I’ll play pet on the bed. Familiar or companion, I wonder?”
 
“You still haven’t exorcised the imaginary me!?”
 
“What do you want me to do? Paw? Or pee?”
 
“Have some self-respect!”
 
“Discipline me as you wish. I’ll learn all kinds of tricks.”
 
“Damn you! Imaginary me!”
 
Oh no, what have I done! With the failed exorcism, things had already gone too far to go back.
 
Yuuri-san’s eyes glow suspiciously. She seems to have cheered up somehow.
 
“Let’s go buy a collar later. I’ll wear it properly, okay? It’s proof that I’m yours. I’ll brag to mom.”
 
“Please, not that, anything but that!”
 
My desperate pleas are ignored. Bad, at this rate, even if I give Mom the millet dumplings, the same thing might happen. What about Sekka? No, that’s still bad!?
 
“If you make me wear a leash, I won’t go anywhere– no, nothing.”
 
My sister shakes her head as if to shake off idle thoughts. An extremely sad expression.
 
My chest feels tight. I don’t know what emotion went through me at that moment.
 
But like the sunny land of Okayama, I vowed to dispel the haze in her chest.
 


 
“To think I’d get to hear a real deer scare… Elegant.”
 
A pleasant sound rings periodically. A deer scarer is not a monster name, but a device that produces sound by the up and down motion of a bamboo pipe using the flow of water. It fits perfectly with the Japanese garden unfolding before my eyes. So cultured… It’s like my heart is being cleansed.
 
Well, I’m escaping reality here, but this is the main house of the Himiyama family. Since I couldn’t greet them properly at the wedding, I was formally invited again.
 
“I also want to thank you. Thank you for helping my granddaughter.
 
“It is I who was helped.
 
“Damn good-for-nothings who bully a child. They should learn a painful lesson.”
 
The one who complains indignantly is Himiyama-san’s grandfather, Toshifune-san. He’s a good old man, but the look on his face is sometimes sharp.
 
If you do a little research, you can find an endless list of Toshifune Himiyama’s accomplishments.
 
He’s retired now, but he used to be a politician, serving not only as a minister, but also in the three highest positions of the party. Among them, the secretary general is effectively the number two, holding the key roles of personnel management and finance. Even after his retirement, Mr. Tojou says he still wields enormous influence over the party. No wonder Mr. Tojou turned pale. I’m sorry I went too far.
 
Himiyama-san’s parents were here just now, but he said he wanted to talk to me alone, so we’re facing each other now in the reception room. Am I okay? I won’t be killed, right?
 
“I haven’t seen Misaki smile like that for years.”
 
Toshifune-san looks at the Japanese garden from a distance. He seems happy somehow.
 
I didn’t know the details, but from his deep gratitude, Himiyama-san seemed to have had a string of bad luck and had been hiding for a long time.
 
Her family was very concerned about how depressed she had become. I learned unexpected secrets about Himiyama-san.
 
After many twists and turns, she moved and tried to change her environment, and that’s when she met me.
 
“I was surprised when I received a call from Misaki. That anger, that unreasonable resentment towards you – she must not have been able to forgive it easily. She failed in her goal of becoming a teacher, and she failed in her role of becoming a wife. Once a person’s heart is broken, it’s hard to get back up again. I wanted to do something, but I couldn’t. That’s why I can never thank you enough.
 
“Himiyama-san… Misaki-san was in such dire straits?”
 
“At one point, her weight dropped drastically, and she couldn’t even swallow food. She’s been hospitalized and put on IVs before. Misaki still has a long life ahead of her. She’s had enough misfortune. So please take care of her from now on. Somehow, she’s quite fond of you.”
 
“That hits close to home.”
 
My “Lower Goodwill” operation was a total failure, so I tried “Raise Goodwill” in reverse thinking, thinking that it might lower goodwill, but instead, goodwill rose terribly high, and I felt that my life was in danger. That’s too reckless.
 
“No worries at all. Indulge them. A family perspective, but Misaki is a beauty.”
 
“That’s why it bothers me…”
 
She’s attractive, so it’s too much to handle. Because I’m a teenager, yo.
 
“I’m surprised you know Genzo too. I heard you trained under him. Are you planning to succeed his establishment? I’ve known him for a long time, but there’s no one to take over.
 
“That wasn’t my intention, but the boss treated me well.”
 
“It’s mysterious, isn’t it? It seems you have a connection with the Himiyama family after all.”
 
Genzou is the name of the boss. I recognized him as the boss, so I didn’t connect the name at first. The Himiyama family has had a long relationship with boss family for decades.
 
Surely no secret discussions would leak out of there, and important politicians should have at least one such shop, I guess. Being invited is also a status symbol.
 
“Pretty famous despite your age. No offense, but I looked into you a bit. However, even I cannot fully comprehend your circumstances. But you’re undoubtedly the real deal. Most amusing.”
 
Toshifune-san grins and shows me a bundle of documents.
 
“They all lack charm, don’t you think? I’d say so.”
 
“Candidates?”
 
The documents I was handed were detailed like resumes.
 
…Is it okay for me to see this list?
 
“Retired as I am, I still have influence in my constituency. They’re gathering to try to get support, but they’re all unsatisfactory. Do you know what qualities a politician needs?”
 
“I guess practical skills and such?”
 
“That may be necessary, but it is not an absolute requirement. My son and Misaki’s brother aren’t that type. Though the downside is that this type tends to be weak in elections. Sadly unpopular.”
 
Himiyama-san’s brother actually works in a central government office and seemed like a serious, upright person.
 
“The qualities a politician needs are charm to captivate people, I think. Leave the petty tasks to the bureaucrats. A broad perspective, a vision for the future, the ability to implement it decisively – you could call them human talents. People won’t move without merit, but they won’t be supported without virtue. Truly difficult skills.”
 
“I see.”
 
The secret to smooth interpersonal relations is not to discuss politics, religion, or baseball.
 
Since it’s a subject I don’t want to get too deep into, I subtly chime in while looking for a way to wrap this up and leave. I’ve had an uncomfortable feeling the whole time, you know. It’s suspicious, suspicious.
 
“Would you succeed me? Take over my constituency. No need to hurry. You’re still young. That you can captivate people so much while still in high school – someone like you is suited to be a politician. Well? “
 
“Even if you tell me that…”
 
“Hahaha. Don’t worry about it. I’ll make all the arrangements. We’re talking about many years from now. I’ve been agonizing over the succession issue for a long time. Finally, the burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I can rest easy. But I have to choose someone before the next election. Is there no one…?”
 
My employment has been arbitrarily decided. Even magnanimity has its limits. That’s when I realized.
 
Could this be the reason why I was greeted by so many strangers at the wedding… gulp gulp
 
Since then, the number of strangely stiff followers on my SNS has increased. What do they expect from me, a high school student? Has the groundwork already progressed?
 
“Hmm. Or should I betroth you to Misaki?”
 
“Wait a sec–“
 
That’s a direct line to the naughty life. At this rate, I’ll become a real relative of the Himiyama family.
 
Wait? Come to think of it, Mr. Tojou said he’d help me if I was in trouble. This is it!
 
“Toshifune-san, I have a perfect candidate.
 
I’ll put all the troublesome things on Mr. Tojou’s shoulders. He said he wanted to go into national politics, but Himiyama-san’s scolding put him off. He is the best man for the job indeed.
 
It’s annoying to be asked to succeed him. I want to grow citrus, too.
 
“Oh? You’d forgive that foolish man? How magnanimous. To accept even those you opposed – your capacity is great. In the wild political world, where evil spirits are rampant, this is also a necessary quality. I want to make you my successor even more now.”
 
Could the lineage of the Himiyama family also be a law where my goodwill to them rises unconditionally, or something like that?
 
“Mr. Tojou is a wonderful person. I think glasses would look good on him.”
 
“Hmm, very well. Then I will take your word for it this time.”
 
Toshifune-san contacts someone. I decide things on my own, but will that be okay?
 
Well, sorry, but please become the victim, Mr. Tojou. This is your own doing. I humbly present you as a sacrifice.
 


 
“Ah, good morning Miki-chan! Is your flu better now? “
 
“I missed you kana-chin! The fever went down quickly, but I couldn’t go out or see anyone, so I was bored and lonely. I contacted you every day!”
 
“It’s okay, it’s okay. We’re not friends.”
 
“kana-chin!”
 
“Miki-chan!”
 
The two hugged each other tightly. Mineta, who had been out of school for a while with the flu, finally returned and was happy to see Elizabeth again.
 
Speaking of influenza, it’s mainly spread when the air gets dry in winter, but in reality, there’s a risk of catching it all year round. Gargling and hand washing are important to prevent infection.
 
Watching their interaction out of the corner of my eye, I continue working. Almost finished…
 
“Hey kana-chin, doesn’t the school atmosphere seem strange to you? Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it feels strangely sweet…”
 
“Miki-chan thinks so too? I felt it too. It’s a little strange, isn’t it?”
 
“What is it? It’s reepy.”
 
“Hey you two, have you forgotten? The vast majority of the strange things that happen in this school are because of him.”
 
The refreshingly handsome guy with the highest sociability casually butts into the girls’ conversation.
 
“So, Yukito. What did you do this time?”
 
“How rude. What the hell are you talking about?”
 
“I mean, what are you doing now? Wait. What the hell Yukito!? Why are you doing normal student things like scribbling in textbooks?”
 
“It’s a para-para manga about reincarnated person in modern times spreading Buddhist prayer through breakdancing.”
 
“It wasn’t normal at all! Why is the quality so freakishly good?”
 
If Zhuge Liang can be a hippie, this kind of thing is still within reason.
 
I flip through the textbook vigorously. It really does look like monks breakdancing. An expression technique that uses optical illusion.
 
“Let me see, let me see!”
 
“The movements are disgusting!”
 
“Fine fine, it’s fine fine.”
 
The textbook leaves my hands and is passed to the classmates.
 
Fine fine, it’s fine fine.
 
“Hey Mihou-kun, is Yukito-kun really okay?”
 
“Yeah.”
 
“It’s fine fine.”
 
The refreshingly handsome guy mocks me without any reason.
 
“Not manga – why Yukito, have you recently started calling your sister onee-sama?”
 
“Yuuri-san seems to have become addicted to a manga with a character like that. She asked me to call her that for a while because she’s jealous.”
 
“So it was a manga…”
 
“Though in that manga, it’s a junior of the same sex who calls her onee-sama, so I wonder if she can really be satisfied with me, her little brother, calling her that.”
 
“Even Mommy is told to call her Okaa-sama, and it’s crazy.”
 
“Isn’t that a little embarrassing?”
 
“She takes care of me every day, so it’s the least I can do for her.”
 
“I feel like that’s not the issue, but… So because of that–“
 
“What do you mean, Kouki?”
 
“When that guy suddenly starts saying things like that, it spreads through the school, right?”
 
“Too much influence!”
 
“Even in the girls’ basketball club, the mood got sweeter and sweeter, and the freshmen suddenly started saying onee-sama this, onee-sama that, so the cause is probably that ninety percent of the time.”
 
“You’re putting too much on me!”
 
I make a token protest, but am completely ignored.
 
Mineta and the others seem to be convinced as well. Why are you convinced?
 

 
–It goes back a week.
 
My sister, who was reading manga in the living room, closes the book with a snap, stands up, and slowly walks over here.
 
“You can call me onee-sama.”
 
“Didn’t you learn subject-predicate in grammar?”
 
“Telepathy, duh.”
 
“That’s completely different.”
 
“….I’ll give you something good if you call me onee-sama.”
 
Unconsciously I make a face. What my sister calls something good must be right. Probably things like shoulder patting tickets (10 tickets bundled) and the like.
 
The tickets to pat my sister’s shoulder are indeed invaluable, but it took me two years to use them all. The last ticket was used only five days ago.
 
“Little brother exclusive ASMR.”
 
“I’ll pass.”
 
“There are bonuses too.”
 
“Don’t need to…”
 
“You can actually experience it.”
 
“Don’t–“
 
“Track 10 is a must.”
 
“Do you–“
 
“You want it? You want it, right?”
 
“Yes.”
 
To be honest, I was a little curious about the contents, but that’s a secret.
 
“Oh my, Yuuri is the only one who gets spoiled. Would you try calling me Okaa-sama if it’s okay with you?”
 
Somehow Mother joins in. Her expectant look pierced me.
 
It was obvious that it would disappoint her if I refused now. I’ve only disappointed her so far. It’s my job to live up to my family’s expectations.
 
“I get it. I can call you Okaa-sama, right, Okaa-sama?”
 
“Gyaaaaah!”
 
The moment I said it, Mother let out a strange shriek as she crumpled to her knees and thrashed around on the floor.
 
She’s like a fish washed ashore.
 
“Wha, what’s wrong, Okaa-sama!? Are you okay, Okaa-sama!?”
 
“Mmmmmmmmm!”
 
“Th-That’s right! I have to hurry and call an ambulance!”
 
“I-I’m fine! Just a little too much shock, it’s nothing!”
 
It’s definitely not nothing! Mother held her lower abdomen.
 
There really must be some disease!
 
“Does it hurt anywhere, Okaa-sama?”
 
“Pfft! N-No, it’s not that! I’m just happy here!”
 
“What is it, it’s something strange! What should I do? onee-sama, Okaa-sama’s in trouble!”
 
“Aaaaaaaaaaaah!”
 
When I turn around, the onee-sama is violently banging her head against the wall. Too scary.
 
“What’s wrong with you too, onee-sama!?”
 
“Ca-Calm down, me. I just got a little excited.”
 
“Onee-sama, your forehead is flushed. I’ll pat it for you.”
 
“Aaaaaaaaaaaah!”
 
When I pat her forehead, onee-sama starts banging her head against the wall again. A woodpecker?
 
“It huuuuuuuurts!”
 
“It stiiiiiiings!”
 
As the two wriggled in agony, I was at a complete loss as to what to do.
 

 
“That’s all that happened, nothing special changed, it was normal as always.”
 
“What part of that is normal?”
 
“If anything, only strange things have just happened, right?”
 
“There’s no way that many incidents happen all the time in everyday life. This world isn’t a manga or a game. And stop blaming everything on me and just saying baseless things!”
 
“The boomerang pierced you.”
 
“They say that the person who is pierced by the boomerang doesn’t know it, but it’s true, huh?”
 
It can’t be my fault.
 
There’s no way! No way… It’s not, right?
 


 
“Look! Thanks to Erika-sama1, my grades went up!”
 
“That’s because of your hard work, Kumi-san. Have confidence?”
 
“Ah, thank you! Will you teach me again?”
 
“Yes. Come anytime.”
 
A relaxed time with just my junior passed during the lunch break. Without going so far as to make tea herself, Erika Tojou still felt that this time was a precious teatime. The junior sitting with her surely felt the same.
 
“Um, I wanted to ask you something. This person who always hangs around you, what’s wrong with him? He seems dangerous, I can’t forgive him!”
 
Kumi’s indignant expression immediately made it clear who she was referring to.
 
Her face tensed. She clenches her fist tightly and calms her heart with a deep breath.
 
“Kumi-san. He doesn’t hang around me at all. If anything, I am. Besides, he’s my important friend. Really important. Even if it’s you, I won’t forgive you for looking down on him.”
 
“I’m sorry!”
 
I unconsciously used a cold voice. Not knowing what to say to the cute junior who bowed her head, I hesitated. She admires me so much. I don’t want to hurt her feelings.
 
She didn’t do anything wrong. She just cared about me. Even if I say it thoughtlessly, her feelings won’t be convinced. She might lash out.
 
And the one who would be hurt, just like back then, would be the one who was unreasonably worried, and this time it would not be me, but the girl in front of me.
 
In fact, that incident didn’t become public either. In the end, only he was smeared with mud. The bad impression of him remains unchanged.
 
What he did was exposed, but my name wasn’t mentioned in the expose.
 
Normally I should be suspended, but considering the maliciousness of my actions, expulsion might not even be strange.
 
The fact that I can feel so comfortable is also due to something he did for me.
 
He stands out just the way he is. Some people obviously don’t like that.
 
I’m working to restore his reputation, but I can’t actively spread it either.
 
But I can’t run away from here. If I run away now, I won’t be able to forgive myself for the rest of my life. So I’m going to tell the truth.
 
“Listen, Kumi-san. He’s not the kind of person you think he is. He’s more like a hero. He…”
 
I begin to speak exuberantly. What will she think?
 
She might be disappointed. I probably can’t become the ideal upperclassman she looks up to.
 
Still, I can’t pretend to hide my foolish behavior here.
 
Because he’s my friend.
 
“People are very ugly things. That includes me, of course. You’re very sincere, it reminds me of myself from a long time ago. That’s why I’m worried. I don’t want to spoil the purity you have.
 
I want to protect that innocence, I think. This age where human ugliness has become far too visible. It’s disheartening how overflowing it is with malice.
 
It’s easy to get swept up in it. The purer you are, the more you’ll be hurt.
 
And the more pure you are, the more you’ll be tainted.
 
But just for now, until we graduate, at least in this closed world of school, I want it to remain immaculate. Ideals remain ideals. Even if it’s unreasonable, in the end I want to be the onee-sama she wants me to be.
 
I wanted to try hard. So that we can always have such peaceful times.
 
For her, for him, so that everyone can be kind.
 
“I appreciate you, Kumi-san. So I want you to increase the number of people you love.
 
She receives tremendous support not only from her classmates, but also sincerely cares for her juniors regardless of gender. Always kind, caring, and full of goodness.
 
Afterwards, Erika Tojou gradually came to be called.
 

 
–The Saintly Senior.
 


 
“Father, whatever happens to me is okay! So please help me! If this continues, something terrible will happen to Kokonoe-san… I can’t let that happen!”
 
Hurrying home, Erika rushes frantically into her father’s study. Though confused by his daughter’s agitated state, Hideomi calms Erika down, makes coffee, and urges her to talk. It’s also a matter of the highest priority for Hideomi.
 
“What happened, Erika?”
 
“Sudo-san–“
 
Takefumi Sudo. The eldest son of the Sudo family, currently twenty years old.
 
And the one who proposed marriage to Erika.
 
Takefumi’s father’s company was listed on the NASDAQ four years ago. Hideomi had met him several times, but didn’t consider the typical nouveau riche to be a good match.
 
What this type expects next are connections. Sudo has set his sights on the Toujou.
 
Hideomi is now in dire straits. He’s been stripped of his party’s support and is an independent.
 
This is the reality as seen by those around him, and Hideomi has no way to change it.
 
Even if he was forgiven after bowing to Misaki and formally apologizing, keeping his distance from the Toujou stared at by the Himiyamas was also a natural consequence from a risk management perspective. In fact, if someone else were in that situation, Hideomi would also reconsider the relationship. The difference in influence is that absolute.
 
Elections cost money. Having lost the party’s support, Hideomi will likely be forced into a tough fight. He can’t rely on numbers like before. His current position is nothing more than a sand castle, and there are countless candidates who want Hideomi’s seat.
 
The shrewd Sudo has noticed this and offers his help on the condition that his son Takefumi becomes Erika’s fiancé. The indignant Hideomi refuses, but Sudo’s insistent pressure, bordering on coercion, increases day by day. Whether Takefumi is an excellent person or not, he certainly didn’t seem like one to Hideomi, and Erika was repulsed as well. As a father who genuinely loves his daughter, he obviously can’t use her as a tool.
 
Sudo lacks pedigree and status. Hideomi lacks allies.
 
It seems to be mutually beneficial, but in reality it’s a takeover of the Tojou household, and if he were engaged to Takefumi, he would probably inherit the Tojou name. Sudo would gain history. It was absolutely unbearable.
 
“That man did that ……. How foolish. Haha, kuhahahahahahahahahahahahaha!”
 
“Father? What’s the matter?”
 
“Sorry, sorry, so this is what they mean by a feeling of relief lifting your heart. Erika. Don’t worry about anything. Such obstacles are meaningless against Kokonoe-sensei.”
 
According to Erika, Takefumi ambushed her at the front gate after school and insisted on inviting her to eat. Yukito Kokonoe, who happened to be passing by, intervened, but at that time Takefumi apparently made threatening remarks about Yukito Kokonoe and his family. Whether it was out of anger or arrogance that Sudo had so much power, it was like making an enemy of the devil.
 
“Our heads bow lower and lower. Erika, treasure this union. There is no one more suitable for a marriage partner, but still, your relationship with Kokonoe-sensei must not be severed.”
 
“What do you mean, father?”
 
“The next election. I’m going into national politics.”
 
A phone call that just came in completely changed Hideomi’s miserable situation.
 
The excitement hadn’t subsided. An elation so long forgotten. Asked for an answer, he answered without hesitation.
 
Trembling with excitement. For the Tojou family’s long-held wish was brought by none other than the man who once robbed them of that dream.
 
“I heard that Kokonoe-sensei recommended me as Toshifune-san’s successor. It seems that the Himiyama will support me until his constituency is officially taken over by the successor, Kokonoe-sensei, but that’s still a long way off.”
 
What a brave man. Hideomi is impressed. Not only to forgive, but even to save the opponent who put him at a disadvantage – that’s no ordinary thing. Erika was also saved by Yukito Kokonoe, but there’s no doubt that this person will do great things in the future. Until then, Hideomi vows to defend his seat.
 
No, that’s no good. He must expand his influence, increase his support, and make his constituency stronger and larger than it is now. That is Hideomi’s mission.
 
“I have received a tremendous favor that I could never repay. Then I will repay that favor through my work. I will pave the way for Kokonoe-sensei.
 
He says he doesn’t intend to do that now. Then it must be a matter of decades. There’s plenty of time. Until then, Hideomi decided to devote himself to this country.
 
“…Father, who is Kokonoe-san?”
 
Erika regretted crushing the Tojou family’s longtime wish. And now she’s dragged him back into her family’s circumstances. Her regret is endless. If Sudo tries to lay a hand on Yukito Kokonoe, she was even determined to accept the fiancé talk.
 
But she can’t understand the unexpected development.
 
Hideomi casually opens his SNS. He snorts when he sees the trending topics.
 
“What I understand is that he’s definitely a monster you shouldn’t make an enemy of.”
 
“A monster?”
 
Hideomi hands Erika his smartphone. Erika makes a complex expression that can’t be described.
 
“Father, this is…”
 
“…Sudo is finished.”
 
The worries that plagued him are gone, and now all Hideomi has is the fighting spirit to face the new challenge. Hideomi swore to himself. I will definitely never disobey him.
 

 
“What are you doing?”
 
“What is it, Dad!? Why the sudden…”
 
Takefumi is grabbed by the collar when his father comes home from work. Takefumi sees his father in a state of anger he’s never seen before and is terrified.
 
Takefumi’s father Shigeru Sudo is ruthless. He thoroughly investigates the other party and takes advantage of their weaknesses. This is how he expands his business. The Toujou were also among his prey. He planned strategies to invest funds and eventually take them into his hands.
 
Shigueru never raised his voice. So Takefumi was shocked.
 
“Look at this!”
 
Shigueru showed him SNS. Not sure what he was getting at, Takefumi pales when he sees the trending topics. He can’t understand the unexpected situation.
 
“Why is my name…!”
 
In a panic, he opens his own smartphone and checks his account. The notifications were overflowing.
 
His name was trending. His real name, the university he attends, even his family composition were identified. But the biggest problem was the clear video of him making threats that was going viral.
 
Tracing the origin leads to an account with over ten thousand followers.
 
“Why is there such a video… –That’s it, this guy!?”
 
Takefumi has been ordered to corrupt Erika. Erika can no longer escape. Once she becomes his fiancée, he has looked down on her as just another high school student he can do whatever he wants with, no matter how much she resists. Once that happens, he’ll gain executive power in the Tojou household.
 
After that, Takefumi will be free. There is no need to be tied to Erika. There are countless other women. He obviously felt no affection for her, she was just a pawn.
 
A man got in the way when he approached Erika to achieve his goal. An ordinary high school student.
 
Just low class trash who lived in a different world than Takefumi. He tried to intimidate the brat.
 
That’s all Takefumi did. He didn’t use violence or anything like that. And yet…
 
“What the hell is this! Dad, why is this happening to me?”
 
An account named Yukito Kokonoe. He doesn’t understand why such a mere high school student has over ten thousand followers. The flaming post he made was extremely simple.
 
Just a video with the message [Got threatened out of the blue by a weird guy lol] with just that one line.
 
He even added a laughing emoji pouring sweat, which was clearly meant to provoke him.
 
One sentence. One line. But it set off a deadly flaming explosion.
 
“My name and company have been identified and are in circulation. But that’s not the point!”
 
“Then what the hell is it!? What are we going to do, Dad!?”
 
He looks like he’s about to smash his smartphone on the floor, but he holds back. What else could there be?
 
Feeling a nameless terror at his father’s words, but what his father implied were followers.
 
“What are we going to do about it? It’s useless!” I’m done!”
 
“–Wait. …What the hell, there’s something weird about this guy! Dad, your company has so many…”
 
“Dad’s company and the big companies they do business with, advertising agencies, not to mention politicians and corporate executives I haven’t even met, are followers of a mere high school student. It’s better to say that they understand that it’s a bad joke.”
 
“Himiyama… isn’t that the case? I’m sure he’s retired by now… And Toren…”
 
“This is impossible. Why do he have such a connection? This is the result of your careless actions! You have to deal with it yourself!”
 
I followed my father’s intentions. I just lacked a little caution. That’s all. That’s all.
 
I’ve also been educated by my father. That’s why I understand. This is impossible.
 
The situation that will develop from now on. It will probably be something that can be called destruction for my father and Takesumi. Even my own employment is in danger. I can no longer afford to worry about people like Toujou.
 
One message after another is sent to my phone. “The worst.” “Don’t contact me again.” Is it because they’re afraid it will spread to them? Cancellation letters from friends and acquaintances. Even my main partner, whom I had been dating, just dumped me. Cold-hearted relationships.
 
“Go apologize right away. Don’t come back until you are forgiven!”
 
“Wait, Dad! I was wrong. So, Dad, you too…”
 
“Do you want me to clean up your mess? You’re already an adult. Take responsibility for yourself! Don’t come back until you get forgiveness!”
 
“Even Dad should understand! I can’t handle it…”
 
“I’m going back to work. I probably won’t be able to come home for a while.”
 
Shigeru leaves the house in a hurry. Takesumi stands there stunned.
 
What in the world have I upset? It’s an unreasonable change in the world.
 
“…devil.”
 
There was a sense of pathetic sadness in this murmur.


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